Gala 17 - 16 Dundee HSFP: Gala keep title hopes alive

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GALA kept their Premiership championship hopes alive despite a stuttering performance on Saturday afternoon with a display which disappointed coach George Graham.

“I am happy to win, but I am not a happy man as, although we won the game, we did not play particularly well. We have not been able to get the bonus point after an excellent start with a try in the early minutes, but we could not sustain that,” he said. Gala played with an inconsistency that was not the mark of champions, but the Netherdale club remains in contention for its first title since 1982-83. “We made too many enforced errors, but we must remember that Dundee are a quality side. However, we appear to be picking up injuries at the wrong time,” Graham added.

They lost winger Gerald Sibanda for the third time this season and, again, it appeared to be a shoulder injury. It was a disappointing day for Dundee, who were making their first visit to the Borders in successive weeks ahead of the game against Melrose next Saturday. Director of Rugby Ian Rankin was again frustrated that they had gained only a losing bonus point. “I have been around a long time and that game was difficult to swallow,” he said.

“After our defeat the previous week, the players turned it round, despite losing an early score. Our defence was excellent, but you have to be able to get hold of the ball.

“It was a good game of rugby and Gala are not in the top two for nothing.”

Gala got off to the perfect start when a break by Sibanda set up the opening try for George Graham. But Dundee soon showed their mettle and a burst by Ross Lemon sent Brandyn Laursen under the posts and Jack Steele converted. The rest of the game was a succession of penalties from Steele and Lee Millar as the lead changed hand four times before the Gala stand-off sealed the points with his final kick four minutes from the end.

Scorers: Gala – Try: George Graham. Pens: Millar (4). Dundee HSFP – Try: Laursen. Con: Steele. Pens: Steele (3).

Gala: A McLean; G Somerville, B Turner, C Borthwick, G Sibanda; L Millar, George Graham; L Pettie, C Mackintosh, E Johnstone, C Weir, O Palepoi, C Keddie, Gary Graham, E Dods. Replacements: M Christie, B Murray, T Weir, G Young, C Robertson.

Dundee HSFP: J Urquhart; A McLean, H Duthie, J Steele, R Lemon; B Laursen, A Dymock; N Dymock, D Russell, A Brown, A Linton, R Hawkins, D Levison, I Wilson, R. McIvor. Replacements: S Longwell, G Robertson, C Cumming, C Browne, R Young.

Referee: P Allan.